THE REPORT OF THE PERSECUTED CHURCH:
Pakistan is #8, in the severity of countries suffering from extreme persecution according to the Open Doors World Watch List. Aasia Bibi, a young Pakistani mother of five has spent years on death row defending herself against an allegation of blasphemy. As Aasia took a break from her long day of work to drink water, she also offered water to the other women. The women told Aasia that they could not drink water from the hands of a Christian who had made the water haraam (unclean and unlawful in Islam) by handling it. The women demanded Aasia convert to Islam to be cleansed of her impurity. Aasia refused and publicly affirmed her faith in Jesus Christ. About five days later, Bibi was charged under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code that punishes by death any speech that is perceived to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.
Additional Media Resources:
Romans 12:2 AMP
"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]."
If anyone is in Christ, they are no longer of the world and must take careful heed to not return to it. Having been made into a new creation we must seek to walk in God's will, according to His unfailing love and plan. Having been reconciled to God, we must walk in the ministry of reconciliation.
QUESTIONS FOR DEEPER REFLECTION:
1. In what ways can I renew my mind & attitudes so that I can conform to Christ-likeness? Where do I seem to struggle most?
2. Aasia Bibi offered her co-workers a glass of water. How have you shown a simple act of kindness in your place of work? Have you had to stand against the flow and honor your faith?
ASK GOD: Ask God to search your life. Ask Him to reveal every action or thought that is fashioned after the customs, or ways of the world; then ask Him for help to renew your life completely.
If anyone is not yet in Christ, they are living a life fashioned after the customs of the world. Jesus asks the Father to forgive them, for they Know NOT what they are doing. "For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).
If we understand this passage fully, we can see why we need to pray according to Ephesians 1:18.